Grade 1: Godly Play


The IFFP 1st Grade Class uses the Montessori-based Godly Play curriculum developed by Rev. Jerome Berryman and used by many congregations across the country.

Method: This curriculum invites children to enter stories from both the Hebrew Bible and New Testament and find their own wonder and meaning in them.

  1. The teacher first presents the story using special props such as a “desert box.”
  2. Students then respond to open-ended questions from the teacher by discussing their individual ideas about the story with the rest of the group.
  3. Finally, each student creates an “art response” to the story or plays with the story figures from this or another story.

Hebrew Bible Content: Stories presented from the Hebrew Scriptures are those that tell how God made God’s presence known to the Hebrew people. These may include: Creation, Noah’s Ark, Abraham and Sarah, the Exodus, the Giving of the Law, the Ark, and the Tabernacle.

New Testament Content: Stories from the New Testament include the Advent Cycle, the Parable of the Good Shepherd, and the life of Jesus, emphasizing his faith as a devout Jew and his work as teacher and healer.

Hebrew and Music: The first grade class regularly has music time and learns some basic Hebrew.

Resurrection: When the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is told, it is presented as a mystery, an end that is also a beginning.